Septic Systems

Pacific Group Developments is a full service septic system company. We have been serving Victoria and outlying areas for over 20 years, installing septic tanks, septic treatment plants, septic drain fields and providing services such as septic inspections and septic system maintenance. We are knowledgeable in septic systems and are eager to assist you in your questions, maintenance, inspection and construction needs.

About Septic Systems

A septic system is used to treat sewage and wastewater by allowing the solids to decompose and settle in a tank then letting the liquids to be absorbed by the soil in drainage field.

The best method of handling residential sewage is through a properly designed and operated community or municipal sewage treatment system. But many areas of British Columbia have populations so low that installation costs prohibit using community systems. In these areas we must rely on individual onsite septic systems for sewage disposal.

Septic systems have improved in recent years and are a great way to treat sewage, provided they’re properly maintained. A septic system needs to meet your specific needs for current and future demands with the health of your family and environmental impact as a main focus.  Septic fields can be hazardous to the environment, your family, pets, and costly to repair if not properly taken care of and inspected annually. 

Types of Septic Systems

There are two generally recognized methods of handling septic waste. They are conventional septic systems and alternative septic systems.
Alternative septic systems are used in cases where conventional septic systems cannot be used due to sensitive environmental areas, low topsoil depth, or the soil is not suited to conventional septic systems or small lots.

Conventional Septic Systems

Gravity septic systems - are the most basic systems and use the force of gravity for drainage. The effluent is pulled from the building into the septic tank and from the septic tank into the septic drainage field where it is naturally filtered and further treated before returning to the environment.

Pressure distribution systems - are the most common septic systems because of it's ability to use the drainage field at optimum efficiency The Pressure distribution system can be used in places that gravity septic systems can not be used due to topography.
This system needs an electric pump in a pump tank / pump chamber to pressurize the field.

Alternative Septic Systems

Aerobic treatment systems - Uses oxygen to promote biological bacteria growth to accelerate decomposition. An acceleration chamber uses forced air to mix the wastewater, accelerating bacteria growth, which results in a cleaner septic system.

Mound septic systems - Are used when there is not enough soil depth for a traditional septic system. A mound septic system is above ground level.
Before installing a septic system a design is required to be submitted to the ministry of health to obtain a permit to construct or alter a septic system.

Design a septic system

  • Soil conditions must be first analyzed. This will be done by perc tests and inspection holes to establish native soil depths, water table, saturated soil, slope, soil type, and rates of absorption.
  • The type of use we are servicing must be established. It could be industrial, commercial, or residential. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage and number of people all need to be calculated.
  • When choosing a septic location, considerations are also made for distances to wells, property lines, watercourses, wetlands, driveways, buildings, rock and topography is also considered.
  • Once this data in calculated the appropriate type and size of sewage disposal system and location can be determined to maximize the longevity and integrity of your new system.

Pacific Group Developments technical staff will help you determine and design the type of septic system for you.

In many cases thoughts of renovating a home with an existing septic system or an application for a building permit will trigger a process to assess your current sewage waste management system and review you increased needs. In most cases the septic tank and septic drain field may be smaller than required because provincial regulations have become more stringent with efforts to protect the environment. In this case an upgrade is required. In some cases you can add to your septic drain field or add an additional tank. In others a new system may be required.

Septic Systems / Subdivisions

Subdivisions of land in and rural areas without municipal or community sewer service, the minimum lot size must be larger to accommodate a septic system. Anyone wanting to subdivide their land must prove the land’s ability to provide safe onsite sewage disposal and in some cases must prove not only a septic drain field area but also a reserve septic drain field area. This reserve septic drain field area is to provide onsite sewage disposal in the future after the primary drain field fails, or for expansion.

We offer site evaluations, for septic system design, septic system installation, septic system maintenance, inspection and feasibility studies for subdivision of property.

Gravity septic system victoria bc This diagram shows a basic gravity-fed septic system with a concrete septic tank, no concrete distribution box and a basic drain field/leach field.
septic effluent pump victoria bc Here is a diagram of a septic effluent pump in a pump chamber / tank showing the float switches for the septic effluent controls. In this diagram the pump is in a pump screen so that larger particles of sewage are not permitted to enter the septic drain field.
victoria septic pressure field This diagram shows a pressure distribution septic system were sewage flows from the house into the septic tank, then into the pump chamber where it is pumped into the drain field.
septic tank filter victoria bc This is a picture of a basic filter to keep solids out of your septic drain field. This is installed on the outlet side of your septic tank.
victoria bc septic pump Here is a picture of a typical septic pressure distribution pump. This pump uses float controls, which function according to fluid levels in the pump chamber. Every situation calls for a different-sized motor depending on pressure and volume requirements, which are affected by head pressure and friction in the pipes.
sewage, septic treatment plant victoria Here’s a diagram of a septic treatment plant, which uses an air pump to agitate and aerate effluent to provide aerobic treatment.
air pump septic treatment  victoria Here is a typical air pump used in septic treatment plants. Its role is to inject air, providing aeration and fluid movement to break up solids and feed aerobic material.
septic alarm victoria bc Here’s a picture of an alarm used in a septic treatment plant. The alarm provides an electrical disconnect, a small red flashing light on the top and an audible alarm on the side. The alarm is activated in the event of an air pump or septic effluent pump failure and is designed to alert the owners of a problem minimizing expensive damage to the drain field.
septic field victoria bc This picture is of a conventional gravity-fed septic drainage field being installed in trenches.
septic field duncan bc Here is a picture of a gravity septic drainage field being installed in a gravel bed, instead of trenches.
new septic field sooke bc In this photo is a mound septic system with a pressurized distribution system. The baffles on the pipes are also called vaults. After the pipe works are complete, sand is placed over the pipe and your sand mound septic system is completed.
septic field diagram for permit Here’s a diagram showing a typical site diagram, which forms part of the application to construct or alter a septic system.
victoria bc raised septic system This is a diagram of a mound septic disposal field. It uses a pressure distribution system, which is pumped from the septic pump in the septic pump chamber (shown). This diagram shows the components, which make up a mound septic system.
new septic reserve area Some areas are now requiring new systems have a replacement septic drainage field area be set aside on the property to allow for a future septic drainage site in the event the first septic drainage field fails.

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